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A. A. Milne 

author of WINNIE THE-POOH 
Decorations by Ernest H. Shepard 

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t • 

\ Now We Are Six \ 


Ernest H. Shepard 







Published by 


I Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 
New York, N.Y. 10017 

Copyright, 1927, by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. 
Copyright Renewal, 1955» by A. A. Milne 

All rights reserved. 

Reprinted by arrangement with E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. 
Printed in the United States of America 
Sixteenth Dell Printing — ^November 1976 


W HEN you are reciting poetry, which is a thing 
we never do, you find sometimes, just as you 
are beginning, that Uncle John is still telling Aunt 
Rose that if he can’t find his spectacles he won’t be 
able to hear properly, and does she know where they 
are; and by the time everybody has stopped looking 
for them, you are at the last verse, and in another 
minute they will be saying, “Thank-you, thank- 
you,’’ without really knowing what it was all about. 
So, next time, you are more careful; and, just before 
you begin you say, very loudly, which 

means, “Now then, here we are’’; and everybody 
stops talking and looks at you: which is what you 
want. So then you get in the way of saying it when- 
ever you are asked to recite . . , and sometimes it is 
just as well, and sometimes it isn’t. . . . And by and 
by you find yourself saying it without thinking. Well, 
this bit which I am writing now, called Introduction, 
is really the er-hYm of the book, and I have put it in, 
partly so as not to take you by surprise, and partly 
because I can’t do without it now. There are some 
very clever writers who say that it is quite easy not 
to have an er-hYm, but I don’t agree with them. I 
think it is much easier not to have all the rest of the 



What I want to explain in the Introduction is this. 
We have been nearly three years writing this book. 
We began it when we were very young . . . and now 
we are six. So, of course, bits of it seem rather baby- 
ish to us, almost as if they had slipped out of '^cane 
other book by mistake. On page whatever-it-is there 
is a thing which is simply three-ish, and , when we 
read it to ourselves just now we said, “Well, well, 
well,” and turned over rather quickly. So we want 
you to know that the name of the book doesn’t mean 
that this is us being six all the time, but that it is 
about as far as we’ve got at present, and we half think 
of stopping there. 

A. A. M . 

P.S.— Pooh wants us to say that he thought it was a 
different book; and he hop>es you won’t mind, but he 
wsdked through it one day, looking for his friend Pig- 
let, and sat down on some of the pages by mistake. 





King John’s Christinas 








Cherry Stones 


The Knight Whose Armour 
Didn’t Squeak 


Buttercup Days 


The Charcoal-Burner 


Us Two 


The Old Sailor 


The Engineer 


Journey’s End 


Furry Bear 




The Emperor^ s Rhyme 


Knight-in-A rmour 


Come Out with Me 


Down by the Pond 


The Little Black Hen 



The triend 

The Good Little Girl 68 

A Thought 7 1 

King Hilary and the Beggerman •jz 
Swing Song 79 

Twice Times 

The Morning Walk 87 

Cradle Song 89 

W aiting at the W indow 9 ^ 

Pinkie Purr 98 

Wind on the Hill 95 

Forgotten 97 

ha the Dark 101 

The End 104 


I have a house where I go 
When there’s too many people, 
I have a house where I go 
Where no one can be; 

I have a house where I go, 

Where nobody ever says “No” ; 
Where no one says anything— so 
There is no one but me. 

King John* s Christmas 

[ 4 ] 

King John was not a good man— 

He had his little ways. 

And sometimes no one sp>oke to him 
For days and days and days. 

And men who came across him. 

When walking in the town. 

Gave him a supercilious stare. 

Or passed with noses in the air— 

And bad King John stood dumbly there. 
Blushing beneath his crown. 

Kmg John was not a good man. 

And no good friends had he. 

He stayed in every afternoon . . . 

But no one came to tea. 

And, round about December, 

The cards upon his shelf 
Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer. 
And fortune in the coming year. 

Were never from his near and dear. 

But only from himself. 

King John was not a good man, 

- Yet had his hopes and fears. 

They’d given him no present now 
For years and years and years. 

But every year at Christmas, 

While minstrels stood about. 

Collecting tribute from the young 
For all the songs they might have sung. 

He stole away upstairs and hung 
A hopeful stocking out. 

King John was not a good man. 

He lived his life aloof; 

Alone he thought a message out 
While climbing up the roof. 

He wrote it down and propped it 
Against the chimney stack: 


And signed it not “Johannes R.“ 

But very humbly, "JACK.” 

“1 want some cracKcrs, 

And I want some candy; 

I think a box of chocolates 
Would come in handy; 

I don’t mind oranges, 

I do like nutsi 

And I SHOULD like a pocket-knife 
That really cuts. 

And, ohl Father Christmas, if you love me at all. 
Bring me a big, red india-rubber ball!” 

King John was not a good man— 
He wrote this message out. 

And gat him to his room again. 
Descending by the spout. 

And all that night he lay there, 

A prey to hopes and fears. 

“I think that’s him a-coming now,” 
(Anxiety bedewed his brow.) 
“He'll bring one present, anyhow— 
The first I’ve had for years.” 

“Forget about the crackers, 

Aud forget about the candy; 

I’m sure a box of chocolates 
Would never come in handy; 

I don't like oranges, 

1 don’t want nuts. 

And I HAVE got a pocket-knife 
That almost cuts. 

But, ohi Father Christmas, if you love me at all. 
Bring me a big, red india-rubber ball!’’ 

King John was not a good man— 

Next morning when the sun 
Rose up to tell a waiting world 
That Christmas had begun, 

And people seized their stockings. 

And opened them with glee. 

And crackers, toys and games appeared. 

And lips with sticky sweets were smeared. 

King John said grimly: “As I feared. 

Nothing again for me!” 

[ 8 ] 

‘I did want crackers, 

And I did want candy; 

I know a box of chocolates 
Would come in handy; 

I do love oranges, 

I did want nuts. 

I haven’t got a pocket-knife— 

Not one that cuts. 

And, ohl if Father Christmas had loved me at all. 
He would have brought a big, red india-rubber 

King John stood by the window. 

And frowned to see below 
The happy bands of boys and girls 
All playing in the snow. 

A while he stood there watching, 

And envying them all . . . 

When through the window big and red 
There hurtled by his royal head. 

And bounced and fell upon the bed. 

An india-rubber balll 






I think I am a Muffin Man. I haven’t got a bell, 

1 haven’t got the muffin things that muffin people 

Perhaps I am a Postman. No, 1 think I am a Tram. 
I’m feeling rather funny and I don’t know what I 


Round about 
And round about 
And round about I go— 
All around the table. 

The table in the nursery— 

Round about 
And round about 
And round about 1 go; 

I think I am a Traveller escaping from a Bear; 

I think 1 am an Elephant, 

Behind another Elephant 

Behin4 another Elephant who isn’t really there. . 



Round about 

And round about 

And round about and round about 

And round about 

And round about 
I go. 

I think I am a Ticket Man who’s selling tickets— 

I think I am a Doctor who is visiting a Sneeze; 


Perhaps I’m just a Nanny who is walking with a 

I’m feeling rather funny and I don’t know what I 


Round about 
And round about 
And round about I go— 

All around the table. 

The table in the nursery— 

Round about 
And round about 
And round about I go: 

I think I am a Puppy, so I’m hanging out my tongue; 

[• 3 ] 

I think I am a Camel who 
Is looking £or a Camel who 

Is looking for a Camel who is looking for its 
Young. . . . 


Round about 
And round about 
And round about and round about 
And round about 
And round about 
I go. 


[« 4 ] 

Christopher Robin 
Had wheezles 
And sneezles. 

They bundled him 


His bed. 

They gave him what goes 
With a cold in the nose. 

And some more for a cold 
In the head. 

They wondered 
If wheezles 
Could turn 
Into measles. 

If sneezles 
Would turn 
Into mumps; 

They examined his chest 
For a rash. 

And the rest 

Of his body for swellings and lumps. 

They sent for some doctors 
In sneezles 
And wheezles 
To tell them what ought 
To be done. 

All sorts and conditions 
Of famous physicians 
Came hurrying round 
At a run. 

They all made a note 
Of the state of his throat, 

They asked if he suflEered from thirst; 
They asked if the sneezles 
Came after the wheezles, 

Or if the first sneezle 
Came first. 

They said, "If you teazle 
A sneezle 
Or wheezle, 

A measle 
May easily grow. 

But humour or pleazle 
The wheezle 
Or sneezle. 

The measle 
Will certainly go.” 

[. 6 ] 

They expounded the teazles 
For sneezles 
And wheezles. 

The manner of measles 
"When new. 

They said, “If he freezles 
In draughts and in breezles, 

Then phtheezles 
May even ensue.” 

Christopher Robin 
Got up in the morning. 

The sneezles had vanished away. 
And the look in his eye 
Seethed to say to the sky, 

"‘Now, how to amuse them today?” 

[• 7 ] 


Binker— what I call him— is a secret of my own. 

And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone. 
Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair. 

Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there. 

Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man. 
And Mummy is the best since the world began, 
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan— 
But they can’t 


Binker’s always talking, ’cos I’m teaching him to 

He ■ sometimes likes to do it in a funny sort of 

And he sometimes likes to do it in a hoodling sort 
of roar . . . 

[. 8 ] 

And I have to do it for him 'cos his throat is rather 

Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man. 
And Mummy knows all that anybody can. 

And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan— 
But they don’t 

Binker’s brave as lions when we’re running in the 

Binker’s brave as tigers when we’re lying in the 

Binker’s brave as elephants. He never, never cries 
• • • 

Except (like other people) when the soap gets in his 

[> 9 ] 

Oh, Daddy is Daddy, he’s a Daddy sort of man. 
And Mummy is as Mummy as anybody can. 
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan . . 
But they’re not 

Binker isn't greedy, but he does like things to eat. 
So I have to say to people when they’re giving me 
a sweet, 

“Oh, Binker wants a chocolate, so could you give 
me two?’’ 

And then 1 eat it for him, 'cos his teeth are rather 


[ 20 ] 

Well, I’m very fond of Daddy, but he hasn’t time 
to play. 

And I’m very fond of Mummy, but she sometimes 
goes away. 

And I’m often cross with Nanny when she wants to 
brush my hair . . . 

But Binker’s always Binker, and is certain to be 


Cherry Stones 

Tinker, Tailor, 

Soldier, Sailor, 

Rich Man, Poor Man, 



Ahd what about a Cowboy, 

Policeman, Jailer, 


Or Pirate Chief? 

What about a Postman— or a Keeper at the Zoo? 

What about the Circus Man who lets the people 

And the man who takes the pennies for the round- 
abouts and swings. 

Or the man who plays the organ, and the other 
man who sings? 

What about a Conjuror with rabbits in his pockets? 

What about a Rocket Man who’s always making 

Oh, there’s such a lot of things to do and such a lot 
to be 

The Knight Whose Armour 
Didn’t Squeak 

[* 4 ] 

Of all the Knights in Appledore 
The wisest was Sir Thomas Tom. 

He multiplied as far as four, 

And knew what nine was taken from 
To make eleven. He could write 
A letter to another Knight. 

No other Knight in all the land 
Could do the things which he could do 
Not only did he understand 

The way to polish swords, but knew 
What remedy a Knight should seek 
Whose armour had begun to squeak. 

And, if he didn’t fight too much, 
It wasn’t that he did not care 
For blips and buffetings and such, 
But felt that it was hardly fair 
To risk, by frequent injuries, 

A brain as delicate as his. 

His castle (Castle Tom) was 
Conveniently on a hill; 

And daily, when it wasn’t wet, 

He paced the battlements until 
Some smaller Knight who couldn’t swim 
Should reach the moat and challenge him. 

[ 86 ] 

- * 'v V 

Or sometimes, feeling full of fight. 

He hurried out to scour the plain; 
And, seeing some approaching Knight, 
He either hurried home again, 

Or hid; and, when the foe was past. 
Blew a triumphant trumpet-blast. 


One day when good Sir Thomas Tom 
Was resting in a handy ditch. 

The noises he was hiding from. 

Though very much the noises which 
He’d always hidden from before. 

Seemed somehow less. . . . Or was it more? 

The trotting horse, the trumpet’s blast. 

The whistling sword, the armour’s squeak. 
These, and especially the last. 

Had clattered by him all the week. 

Was this the same, or was it not? 

Something was different. But what? 

Sir Thomas raised a cautious ear 
And listened as Sir Hugh went by. 

And suddenly he seemed to hear 
(Or not to hear) the reason why 
This stranger made a nicer sound 
Than other Knights who lived around. 

Sir Thomas watched the way he went— 

His rage was such he couldn’t speak. 

For years they’d called him down in Kent 
The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak! 

[* 8 ] 

Yet here and now he looked upon 
Another Knight whose squeak had gone. 

He rushed to where his horse was tied; 

He spurred it to a rapid trot. 

The only fear he felt inside 
About his enemy was not 
“How sharp his sword?” “How stout his 

But “Has he got too long a start?” 

Sir Hugh was singing, hand on-hip. 

When something sudden came along. 

And caught him a terrific blip 
Right in the middle of his song. 

“A thunderstorml” he thought. “Of coursel” 
And toppled gently off his horse. 

Then said the good Sir Thomas Tom, 
Dismounting with a friendly air, 
“Allow me to extract you from 

The heavy armour that you wear. 
At times like these the bravest Knight 
May find his armour much too tight.” 

A hundred yards or so beyond 

The scene of brave Sir Hugh’s defeat 
Sir Thomas found a useful pond. 

And, careful not to wet his feet. 

He brought the armour to the brink. 

And flung it in . . . and watched it sink. 


So ever after, more and more. 

The men of Kent would proudly speak 
Of Thomas Tom of Appledore, 

“The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak” 
Whilst Hugh, the Knight who gave him best. 
Squeaks just as badly as the rest. 

Buttercup Days 


Where is Anne? 

Head above the buttercups. 

Walking by the stream, 

Down among the buttercups. 

Where is Anne? 

Walking with her man. 

Lost in a dream. 

Lost among the buttercups. 

What has she got in that little brown head? 
Wonderful thoughts which can never be said. 
What has she got in that firm little fist of hers? 
Somebody’s thumb, and it feels like Christopher’s. 

Where is Anne? 

Close to her man. 

Brown head, gold head. 

In and out the buttercups. 

The ChurcoaUBumer 

[ 3 *] 

The charcoal-burner has tales to tell. 

He lives in the Forest, 

Alone in the Forest; 

He sits in the Forest, 

Alone in the Forest. 

And the sun comes slanting between the trees. 

And rabbits come up, and they give him good- 

And rabbits come up and say, “Beautiful mom- 
mg ... 

And the moon swings clear of the tall black trees. 
And owls fly over and wish him good-night. 

Quietly over to wish him good-night . . . 

And he sits and thinks of the things they know. 

He and the Forest, alone together— 

The springs that come and the summers that go, 
Autumn dew on bracken and heather. 

The drip of the Forest beneath the snow . . . 

S' fe 


the things they have seen, 
the things they have heard: 

April sky swept clean and the song of a bird . . . 

Oh, the charcoal-burner has tales to telll 
And he lives in the Forest and knows us well. 

[ 35 ] 

Us Two 

Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh, 
There’s always Pooh and Me. 

Whatever I do, he wants to do, 

“Where are you going today?’’ says Pooh: 
“Well, that’s very odd ’cos I was too. 

Let’s go together,’’ says Pooh, says he. 
“Let’s go together,’’ says Pooh. 

“What’s twice eleven?’’ I said to Pooh. 

(“Twice what?’’ said Pooh to Me.) 

“I think it ought to be twenty-two.” 
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh. 

“It wasn’t an easy sum to do. 

But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, 
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh. 

Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh. 

Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me. 

We crossed the river and found a few— 

Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh. 
As soon as 1 saw their beaks 1 knew. 

That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he. 
That’s what they are,” said Pooh. 


Let’s frighten the dragons,”! said to Pooh. 
That’s right,” said Pooh to Me. 

Fm not afraid,” I said to Pooh, 

And 1 held his paw and 1 shouted “Shoo! 
Silly old dragons!”— and olf they flew. 

I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he, 

I’m never afraid with you.” 


So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh, 
There’s always Pooh and Me. 

“What would I do?’’ I said to Pooh, 

“If it wasn’t for you,’’ and Pooh said: “True, 
It isn't much fun for One, but Two 
Can stick, tt^ther,” says Pooh, says he. 

“That’s how it is,’’ says Pooh. 

The Old Sailor 


There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew 
Who had so many things which he wanted to do 
That, whenever he diought it was time to begin. 

He couldn’t because of the state he was in. 

He was shipwrecked, and lived on an island for 


And he wanted a hat, 

and he wanted some breeks; 

And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks 
For the turtles and things which you read of in 

And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing 
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring; 
And he thought t^t to talk to he’d look for, and 

(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheqi. 


Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut 
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut 
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about). 
And a very strong lock to keep savages out. 

He began on the fish-hooks, and when he’d begun 
He decided he couldn’t because of the sun. 

So he knew what he ought to begin with, and that 
Was to find, or to make, a large sun-stopping hat. 

He was making the hat with some leaves from a 

When he thought, “I’m as hot as a body can be. 

And I’ve nothing to take for my terrible thirst; 

So I’ll look for a spring, and I’ll look for it first” 

[ 41 ] 

Then he thought as he started, “Oh, dear and oh, 

I'll be Ipnely tomorrow with nobody here!” 

So he made in his note-book a couple of notes; 

“/ must first find some chickens” 

He had just seen a goat (which he knew by the 

When he thought, “But I must have a boat for 

But a boat means a sail, whidi means needles and 

So I'd better sit down and make needles instead.” 

[ 4 »] 

He began on a needle, but thought as he worked. 
That, if this was an island where savages lurked. 
Sitting safe in his hut he’d have nothing to fear, 
Whereas now they might suddenly breathe in his 

So he thought of his hut . . . and he thought of 
his boat. 

And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and 

And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his 
thirst) , . . 

But he never could think which he ought to do first. 

And so in the end he did nothing at all. 

But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl. 
And I think it was dreadful the ■way' he behaved— 
He did nothing but basking until he was savedl 

[ 45 ] 

And the wheels 
All stick 
So quick 
That it feels 
Like a thing 
That you make 
With a brake. 

Not string. . . . 

So that’s what I make. 
When the day’s all wet. 
It’s a good sort of brake 
But it hasn’t worked yet. 

Journey's End 


Christopher, Christopher, where are you going, 

Christopher Robin? 
“Just up to the top of the hill. 

Upping and upping until 
I am right on the top of the hill,” 

Said Christppher Robin. 

[ 47 ] 

Christopher, Christopher, why are you going, 

Christopher Robin? 
There’s nothing to see, so when 
You’ve got to the top, what then? 

“Just down to the bottom again,” 

Said Christopher Robin. 

Furry Bear 


If I were a bear. 

And a big bear too, 

I shouldn’t much care 
If it froze or snew; 

I shouldn’t much mind 
If it snowed or friz— 
I’d be all fur-lined 
With a coat like hisi 

[ 49 ] 

For I’d have fur boots and a brown fur wrap. 

And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap. 

I'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws. 

And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws. 
With a big brown furry-down up to my head, 

I’d sleep all the winter in a big fur bed. 



I found a little beetle, so that Beetle was his name, 
And I called him Alexander and he answered just 
tl-e same. 

I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the 
day . . . 

And Nanny let my beetle out— 

Yes, Nanny let my beetle out— 

She went and let my beetle out— 

And Beetle ran away. 

[ 5 *] 

She said she didn’t mean it, 
and I never said she did. 
She said she wanted matches 
and she just took o£E 
the lid. 

She said that she was sorry, but it's difficult to catch 

An excited sort of beetle you've mistaken for a 

She said that she was sorry, and 1 really mustn’t 

As there’s lots and lots of beetles which she’s cer- 
tain we could find. 

If we looked about the garden for the holes where 
beetles hid— 

And we’d get another match-box and write 
BEETLE on the lid. 

We went to all the places which a beetle might be 

And we made the sort of noises which a beetle 
likes to hear. 

And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort 
of shout; 

“A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming outf” 

[ 6 *] 

It wa$ Alexander Beetle I’m as certain as can be 

And he had a sort of look as if he thought it must 
be ME, 

And he had a sort of look as if he thought he ought 
to say: 

“I’m very, very sorry that I tried to run away.’’ 

And Nanny’s very sorry too for you-know-what-she- 

And she’s writing ALEXANDER very blackly on 
the lid. 

So Nan and Me are friends, because it’s difficult to 

An excited Alexander you’ve mistaken for a match. 

Oh, whenever the Emperor 
Got into a temper, or 
Felt himself sulky or sad. 

He would murmur and murmur. 
Until he felt firmer. 

This curious rhyme which he had: 

Eight eights are sixty-four; 

Multiply by seven. 

When it’s done. 

Carry one, 

And take away eleven. 

Nine nines are eighty-one; 

Multiply by three. 

If it’s more. 

Carry four. 

And then it’s time for tea. 

[ 55 ] 

So whenever the Queen 
Took his armour to clean, 

And she didn’t remember 
To use any starch; 

Or his birthday (in May) 

Was a horrible day, 

Being wet as November 
And windy as March; 

Or, if sitting in state 
With the Wise and the Great, 
He just happened to hiccup 
While signing his name. 

Or the Queen gave a cough. 
When his crown tumbled off 
As he bent down to pick up 
A pen for the same; 

Oh, whenever the Emperor 
Got into a temper, or 
Felt himself awkward and shy. 

He would whisper and whisper, 
Until he felt crisper. 

This odd little rhyme to the sky: 

Eight eights are eighty-one; 

Multiply by seven. 

If it’s more, 

Carry four. 

And take away eleven. 
Nine nines are sixty-four; 

Multiply by three. 

When it’s done. 

Carry one. 

And then it’s time for tea. 

[ 67 ] 


Whenever I’m a shining Knight, 

I buckle on my armour tight; 

And then I look about for things. 
Like Rushings-Out, and Rescuings, 
And Savings from the Dragon’s Lair, 
And fighting all the Dragons there. 
And sometimes when our fights begin, 
I think I’ll let the Dragons win . . . 
And then I think perhaps I won’t. 
Because they're Dragons, and I don’t. 

Come Out with Me 


There's sun on the river and sun on the hill . . . 
You can hear the sea if you stand quite still! 

There’s eight new puppies at Roundabout Farm— 
And I saw an old sailor with only one arm! 

But every one says, “Run along!” 

(Run along, run along!) 

All of them say, “Run along! I’m busy as can be.” 
Every one says, “Run along. 

There’s a little darling!” 

If I’m a little darling, why don’t they run with me? 

There's wind on the river and wind on the hill . . . 
'There’s a dark dead water-wheel under the mill! 

I saw a fly which had just been drowned— 

And I know where a rabbit goes into the grotmd! 

But every one says, “Run along!” 

(Run along, run along!) 

All of them say, “Yes, dear,” and never notice me. 
Every one says, “Run along, 

'There’s a little darling!” 

If I’m a little darling, why won’t they come and see? 

t)own by the Pond [ 6o ] 

/'m fishing. 

Don’t talk, anybody, don’t come near! 

Can’t you see that the fish might hear? 

He thinks I’m playing with a piece of string; 

He thinks I’m another sort of funny sort of thing, 
But he doesn’t know I’m fishing— 

He doesn’t know I’m fishing. 

That’s what I’m doing— 



ffo, I’m not. I’m newting. 

Don’t cough, anybody, don’t come byl 
Any small noise makes a newt feel shy. 

He thinks I’m a bush, or a new sort of tree; 

He thinks it’s somebody, but doesn’t think it’s Me, 
And he doesn’t know I’m newting— 

No, he doesn’t know I’m newting. 

That’s what I’m doing— 


The Little Black Hen 


Berryman and Baxter, 

Prettiboy and Penn 

And old Farmer Middleton 
Are five big men . . . 

And all of them were after 
The Little Black Hen. 

She ran quickly. 

They ran fast; 

Baxter was first, and 
Berryman was last. 

I sat and watched 

By the old plum-tree . . . 

She squawked through the hedge 
And she came to me. 


The Little Black Hen 
Said “Oh, it’s youl” 

I said “Thank you. 

How do you do? 

And please will you tell me. 
Little Black Hen, 

What did they want. 

Those five big men?" 

The Little Black Hen 
She said to me: 

“They want me to lay them 
An egg for tea. 

If they were Emperors, 

If they were Kings, 

I’m much too busy 
To lay them things.” 

“I’m not a King 

And I haven't a crown; 
1 climb up trees. 

And I tumble down. 

I can shut one eye, 

I'can count to ten. 

So lay me an egg, please. 
Little Black Hen.” 

The Little Black Hen said, 
“What will you pay. 

If I lay you an egg 
For Easter Day?” 

“I’ll g;ive you a Please 

And a How-do-you-do, 

I’ll show you the Bear 
Who lives in the Zoo, 

I’ll show you the nettle-place 
On my leg. 

If you’ll lay me a great big 
Eastery eg^.” 

[ 65 ] 

The Little Black Hen 
Said “I don’t care 

For a How-do-you-do 
Or a Big-brown-bear, 

But I’ll lay you a beautiful 
Eastery egg, 

If you’ll show me the nettle-place 
On your leg.” 

I showed her the place 
Where I had my sting. 

She touched it gently 
With one black wing. 

“Nettles don’t hurt 
If you count to ten. 

And now for the egg,” 

Said the Little Black Hen. 

[ 66 ] 

When I wake up 
On Easter Day, 

I shall see my egg 

She's promised to lay. 

If I were Emp>erors, 

If I were Kings, 

It couldn’t be fuller 
Of wonderful things. 

Berryman and Baxter, 

Prettiboy and Penn, 

And Old Farmer Middleton 
Are five big men. 

All of them are wanting 
An egg for their tea. 

But the Little Black Hen is much too busy. 
The Little Black Hen is much too busy. 

The Little Black Hen is MUCH too busy . . 
She's laying my egg for me! 


The Friend 

There are lots and lots (rf people who are always 
asking things, 

Like Dates and Pounds-and-ounces and the names 
of funny Kings, 

And the answer’s either Sixpence or A Hundred 
Inches Long, 

And I know they’ll think me silly if I get the an- 
swer wrong. 

So Pooh and I go whispering, and Pooh looks very 

And says, “Well, I say sixpence, but I don't suppose 
- I’m right.’’ 

And then it doesn't matter what the answer ought 
to be, 

'Ckw if he’s right, I’m Right, and if he’s wrong, it 
isn’t Me. 

iThe Good Little Girl [ 68 ] 

It’s funny how often they say to me, "Jane? 
“Have you been a good girl?" 

"Have you been a good girl?” 

And when they have said it, they say it again, 
"Have you been a good girl?” 

“Have you been a good girl?” 

I go to a party, I go out to tea, 

1 go to an aunt for a week at the sea, 

I come back from school or from playing a game; 
Wherever 1 come from, it’s always the same: 

Have you been: a good girl, Jane?” 

[ 70 ] 

it’s always the end of the loveliest day; 
“Have you been a good girl?" 

“Have you been a good girl?" 

1 went to the Zoo, and they waited to say: 
“Have you been a good girl?” 

“Have you been a good girl?” 

Well, what did they think that 1 went there to do? 
And why should I want to be bad at the Zoo? 
And should I be likely to say if I hadf 
So that’s why it’s funny of Mummy and Dad, 
This asking and asking, in case I was V^d, 

Have you been a good girl, Jane?” 

A Thought 

If I were John and John were Me, 
Then he’d be six and I’d be three. 
If John were Me and I were John, 
I shouldn’t have these trousers on. 

King Hilary and the Beggarman 

Of Hilary the Great and Good 

They tell a tale at Christmas time 
Vve often thought the story would 
Be prettier but fust as good 
If almost anybody should 
Translate it into rime. 

So I have done the best I can 

For lack of some more learned man. 

Good King Hilary 
Said to his Chancellor 
(Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor): 

“Run to the wicket-gate 
Quickly, quickly. 

Run to the wicket-gate 

And see who is knocking. 

It may be a rich man. 

Sea-borne from Araby, 

Bringing me f>eacocks. 

Emeralds and ivory; 

It may be a {xx>r man. 
Travel-worn and weary. 

Bringing me oranges 

To put in my stocking." 

Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor, 

Laughed both loud and free:* 

“I’ve served Your Majesty, man to man. 

Since first Your Majesty’s reign began. 

And I’ve often walked, but I never, never ran, 
Never, never, never,’’ quoth he. 

Good King Hilary 
Said to his Chancellor 
(Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor): 

“Walk to the wicket-gate 
Quickly, quickly. 

Walk to the wicket-gate 

And see who is knocking. 

• Hawi Haw! Haw! 

[ 74 ] 

It may be a captain. 
Hawk-nosed, bearded. 
Bringing me gold-dust. 
Spices, and sandalwood: 

It may be a scullion, 

Care-free, whistling. 

Bringing me sugar-plums 

To put in my stocking.” 

Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor, 

Laughed both loud and free: 

‘‘I’ve served in the Palace since I was four. 

And I’ll serve in the Palace a-many years more. 
And I’ve opened a window, but never a door. 
Never, never, never,” quoth he. 

[ 75 ] 

Good King HUary 
Said to his Chancellor 
(Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor): 

"Open the window 
Quickly, quickly, 

Open the window 

And see who is knocking. 

It may be a waiting-maid, 
Apple-cheeked, dimpled. 
Sent by her mistress 
To bring me greeting; 

It may be children. 

Anxious, whispering. 
Bringing me cobnuts. 

To put in my stocking. 

[ 76 ] 

Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor, 

Laughed both loud and free; 

‘I’ll serve Your Majesty till I.die— 

As Lord Chancellor, not as spy 
To peep from lattices; no, not I, 

Never, never, never,” quoth he. 

Gk>od King Hilary 
Looked at his Chancellor 
(Proud Lord Willoughby, 

Lord High Chancellor): 

He said no word 

To his sti£E-set Chancellor, 

But ran to the wicket-gate 

To see who was knocking. 

He found no rich man 
Trading from Araby; 

He found no captain. 

Blue-eyed, weather- tanned; 

He found no waiting-maid 
Sent by her mistress; 

But only a beggarman 

With one red stocking. 

Good King Hilary 
Looked at the beggarman, 

And laughed him three times three; 

[ 77 ] 

And he turned that be^rman round about: 
“Your thews are strong, and your arm is stout; 
Come, throw me a Lord High Chancellor 

And take his place,” quoth he. 

Of Hilary the Good and Great 
Old wives at Christmas time relate 
This tale, which points, at any rate. 

Two morals on the way. 

The first: “Whenever Fortune brings, 

Don't be afraid of doing things.” 

(Especially, of course, for Kings.) 

It also seems to say 
(But not so wisely): “He who begs 
With one red stocking on his legs 
Will be, as sure as eggs are eggs, 

A Chancellor some day.” 

[ 79 ] 

Swing Song 

Here I go up in my swing 
Ever so high. 

I am the King of the fields, and the King 
Of the town. 

I am the King of the earth, and the King 
Of the sky. 

Here I go up in my swing . . . 

Now I go down. 



Elizabeth Ann 
Said to her Nan: 

“Please will you tell me how God began? 
Somebody must have made Him. So 
Who could it be, ’cos I want to know?” 

And Nurse said, “Welir 
And Ann said, “Well? 

I know you know, and I wish you’d tell.” 

And Nurse took pins from her mouth, and said, 
“Now then, darling, it's time for bed.” 

Elizabeth Ann 
Had a wonderful plan: 

She would run round the world till she found a 

Who knew exactly how God began. 

[ 8 .] 

She got up early, she dressed, and ran 
Trying to find an Important Man. 

She ran to London and knocked at the door 
Of the Lord High Doodelum's coach-and-four. 
“Please, sir (if there’s anyone in), 
However-and-ever did God begin?” 


The Lord High Doodelum lay in bed, 

But out of the window, large and red. 

Came the Lord High Coachman’s face instead. 
And the Lord High Coachman laughed and 

“Well, what put that in your quaint little 

Elizabeth Ann went home again 
And took from the ottoman Jennifer Jane. 
“Jenniferjane,” said Elizabeth Ann, 

“Tell me at once how God began.” 

And Jane, who didn’t much care for speaking. 
Replied in her usual way by squeaking. 

What did it mean? Well, to be quite candid, 
I don’t know, but Elizabeth Ann did. 

Elizabeth Ann said softly, “Oh! 

Thank you, Jennifer. Now I know.” 

[ 83 ] 

Twice Times 

There were Two little Bears who lived in a Wood, 
And one of them was Bad and the other was Good. 
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times One— 

But Bad Bear left all his buttons undone. 

They lived in a Tree when the weather was hot. 
And one of them was Good, and the other was Not. 
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Two— 

But Bad Bear’s thingummies were worn right 

They lived in a Cave when the weather was cold. 
And they Did, and they Didn’t Do, what they were 

Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Three— 

But Bad Bear never had his hand-ker-chee. 

[ 84 ] 

They lived in the Wood with a Kind Old Aunt, 

And one said *'Yes'm/’ and the other said “Shan't!"* 
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Four— 

But Bad Bear’s knicketies were terrible tore. 

And then quite suddenly (just like Us) 

One got Better and the other got Wuss. 

Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Three— 
But Bad Bear coughed in his hand-ker-chee! 

[ 85 ] 

Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Two— 
But Bad Bear’s thingummies looked like new. 
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times One— 
But Bad Bear never left his buttons undone. 

There may be a Moral, though some say not; 

I think there’s a moral, though 1 don’t know what. 
But if one gets better, as the other gets wuss. 

These Two Little Bears are just like Us. 

For Christopher remembers up to Twice Times 
Ten . . . 

But I keep forgetting where I’ve put my pen.* 

* So I have had to write this one in pencil. 

[ 86 ] 

[ 87 ] 

The Morning Walk 

When Anne and I go out a walk. 
We hold each other’s hand and talk 
Of all the things we mean to do 
When Anne and I are forty-two. 

[« 8 ] 

And when we Ve thought about a thing, 

Like bowling hoops or bicycling. 

Or falling down on Anne’s balloon. 

We do it in the afternoon. 

Cradle Song 

O Timothy Tim 
Has ten pink toes. 
And ten pink toes 
Has Timothy Tim, 
They go with him 
Wherever he goes, 
And wherever he goes 
They go with him. 

O Timothy Tim 
Has two blue eyes, 

And two blue eyes 
Has Timothy Tim. 

They cry with him 
Whenever he cries. 
And whenever he cries. 
They cry with him. 

O Timothy Tim 
Has one red head. 
And one red head 
Has Timothy Tim. 

It sleeps with him 
In Timothy’s bed. 
Sleep well, red head 
Of Timothy Tim. 


Waiting at the Wind^ 

These are my two drops of rain 
Waiting on the window-pane. 

I am waiting here to see 
Which the winning one will be. 

Both of them have difEerent names. 

One is John and one is James. 

All the best and all the worst 
Comes from which of them is first. 

James has just begun to ooze. 

He’s the one I want to lose. 

John is waiting to begin. 

He’s the one I want to win. 

James is going slowly on. 

Something sort of sticks to John. 

John is moving off at last. 

James is going pretty fast. 

John is rushing down the pane. 

James is going slow again. 

James has met a sort of smear. 

John is getting very near. 

Is he going fast enough? 

(James has found a piece of flu£E.) 

John has hurried quickly by. 
(James was talking to a fly.) 

John is there, and John has won! 
Look! I told you! Here’s the sun! 

193 ] 

Pinkie Purr 

Tattoo was the mother of Pinkie Purr, 

A little black nothing of feet and fur; 

And by-and-by, when his eyes came through. 
He saw his mother, the big Tattoo. 

And all that he learned he learned from her. 
“I’ll ask my mother,” says Pinkie Purr. 

Tattoo was the mother of Pinkie Purr, 

A ridiculous kitten with silky fur. 

And little black Pinkie grew and grew 
Till he got as big as the big Tattoo. 

And all that he did he did with her. 

“Two friends together,” says Pinkie Purr. 

Tattoo was the mother of Pinkie Purr, 

An adventurous cat in a coat of fur. 

And whenever he thought of a thing to do. 
He didn't much bother about Tattod, 

For he knows it's nothing to do with her. 

So “See you later,” says Pinkie Purr. 

[ 94 ] 

Tattoo is the mother of Pinkie Purr, 

An enormous leopard with coal-black fur. 

A little brown kitten that’s nearly new 
Is now playing games with its big Tattoo . . , 
And Pink looks lazily down at her: 

“Dear little Tat/’ says Pinkie Purr. 

Wind on the Hill 


No one can tell me. 

Nobody knows. 

Where the wind comes from. 
Where the wind goes. 

[ 9 ®] 

It’s flying from somewhere 
As hist as it can, 

I couldn't keep up with it. 

Not if I ran. 

But if I stopped holding 
The- string of my kite. 

It would blow with the wind 
For a day and a night. 

And then when I found it. 
Wherever it blew, 

I should know that the wind 
Had been going there too. 

So then I could tell them 
Where the wind goes . . . 

But where the wind comes from 
Nobody knows. 

[ 97 ] 


Lords of the Nursery 
Wait in a row. 

Five on the high wall, 

And four on the low; 

Big Kings and Little Kings, 
Brown Bears and Black, 

All of them waiting 
Till John comes back. 

Some think that John boy 
Is lost in the wood. 

Some say he couldn’t be. 
Some say he could. 

Some think that John boy 
Hides on the hill; 

Some say he won’t come back, 
Some say he will. 

[ 98 ] 

High was the sun, when 
John went away . . . 
Here they’ve been waiting 
All through the day; 

Big Bears and Little Bears, 
White Kings and Black, 
All of them waiting 
Till John comes back. 

Lords of the Nursery 
Looked down the hill. 

Some saw the sheep-fold. 

Some saw the mill; 

Some saw the roofe 

Of the little grey town . . . 
And their shadows grew long 
As the sun slipt down. 

Gold between the poplars 
An old moon shows; 

Silver up the star-way 
The full moon rose; 

Silver down the star-way 
The old moon crept . . . 

And, one by another, 

The grey fields slept. 

Lords of the Nursery 

Their still watch keep . . . 

They hear from the sheep-fold 
The rustle of sheep. 

A young bird twitters 
And hides its head; 

A little wind suddenly 
Breathes, and is dead. 

Slowly and slowly 

Dawns the new day . . . 
What’s become of John boy? 

No one can say. 

Some think that John boy 
Is lost on the hill; 

Some say he won’t come back, 
Some say he will. 


Whafs become of John boyf 
Nothing at all. 

He played with his skipping rope, 
He played with his ball. 

He ran after butterflies. 

Blue ones and red; 

He did a hundred happy things— 
And then went to bed. 

In the Dark 


I’ve had my supper. 

And had my supper. 

And HAD my supper and all; 

I’ve heard the story 
Of Cinderella, 

And how she went to the ball; 

I’ve cleaned my teeth. 

And I’ve said my prayers. 

And I've cleaned and said them right; 
And they’ve all of them been 
And kissed me lots. 

They’ve all of them said “Good-night.” 

So— here I am in the dark alone, 

There’s nobody here to see; 

I think to myself, 

I play to myself. 

And nobody knows what I say to myself 
Here I am in the dark alone. 

What is it going to be? 

I can think whatever I like to think, 

I can play whatever I like to play, 

I can laugh whatever I like to laugh. 

There’s nobody here but me. 

I’m talking to a rabbit . . . 

I’m talking to the sun . . . 

I think I am a hundred— 

I’m one. 

I’m lying in a forest , . . 

I’m lying in a cave . . . 

I’m talking to a Dragon . . . 


I’m lying on my left side . . . 

I’m lying on my right . . , 
I’ll play a lot tomorrow . . . 

I’ll think a lot tomorrow . . . 

I’ll laugh . . . 

alot . . . 

tomorrow . . . 


The End 


When I was One, 

1 had just begun. 

When I was Two, 

I was nearly new. 

When I was Three, 

I was hardly Me. 

When I was Four, 

1 was not much more. 

When I was Five, 

I was just alive. 

But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever. 
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.